Sibling synergy

By Vidya Iyengar| Express News Service | Published: 03rd November 2020 05:15 AM

BENGALURU: When Ria (20) and Shreya Mittal (18) found themselves with a lot of time on hand over the last seven months, the sisters started browsing through outfits they could purchase. But much to their surprise, their outfit preferences were available on international websites.

“Indian brands were mostly into fast fashion, with quality sometimes lacking. This trend is very fitting in the ‘new’ normal as work-from-home culture takes centre stage, and casual comfortable and fashionable products become the need of the hour,” says Ria, a final year fashion management student in the United Kingdom.

Last month, after weeks of planning and preparation, the two launched their athleisure brand – CAVA, that comprises causal clothes that move with ease from WFH to informal business meets and small casual gatherings. “It’s about clothes you can wear anywhere in the current scenario and look chic and stylish,” says Shreya, a Class-12 student at Mallya Aditi International School. Their target audience is in the age group of 15 and 35 years, which is why they’ve decided to get youngsters on board for this. “The collaboration with our designer came about through LinkedIn. We want to make this a student-run business,” says Ria. 

A strong base of a family background in garment business gave them the backing in terms of their idea as well as the nitty-gritty of business. “We did multiple presentations for our family, which has invested `8- 10 lakh into this venture, before we took the plunge,” says Ria. The name, CAVA, means a Spanish sparkling wine made the same way as champagne, which they thought had a ring to it. Marketed and sold through social media channels, their brand will focus on sustainability.

“We use 100 per cent recycled polyester and BCI (Better cotton initiative ) fabrics which conservers water and other vital resources,” says Shreya. The products are priced between Rs 800 and Rs 2,500.  

Ria, who looks after design and promotion, currently co-ordinates the business from the UK where she returned a month ago. “I plan to come back after I finish my course to see where we can take the brand in the next couple of years,” she says. Next year, Shreya, who is into logistics, packing and social media, too plans to head to the UK to study business and digital marketing.  

Over the last few months, they have realised the challenges of running a business. While they themselves have run into arguments – the reason for separate responsibilities – they now understand the effort that goes into the manufacturing of a single garment. “I told my dad that I now understand how much effort goes into making money,” says Ria. For Shreya, the biggest learning has been experiencing Murphy’s law... anything that can go wrong will go wrong. “But when we talk to our parents, they say this is a part and parcel of business,” says Shreya.

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